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Combination images of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images/Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Republican governors of Massachusetts and Maryland both criticized President Trump during separate news conferences Tuesday for holding up the presidential transition during the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're saying: Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker called Attorney General Bill Barr's decision to authorized U.S. attorneys to investigate alleged voter fraud "wildly inappropriate." "I'm dismayed to hear the baseless claims from the president, from his team, and from many other elected Republican officials in Washington," he said.

"[S]talling an orderly transition process, especially at a time like this, is equally unacceptable."
— Baker
  • "I can't think of a worse time to stall a transition than amid a deadly pandemic that the federal government continues to own primary responsibility for responding to," Baker added.
  • He said if the Trump campaign has "legitimate legal challenges," the courts should deal with them as quickly and as fairly as possible.
"I'm aware of no legitimate claims of wrongdoing anywhere near the scale it would take to affect this outcome, and there's no credible third-party entity that's verified the president's claims in any way. Continuing to make these claims erodes trust in the system when in fact, the election system is working exactly as it was designed to do."

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said, "Most people realize that this election is over. It's really dangerous, I think, in the middle of this pandemic, this economic collapse, people dying across the country, to not know if we're going to have a transition."

  • Hogan questioned how long the "crazy" situation of stalling the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden would go on for "with no seamless package getting done, with no additional virus relief."
  • He added the delay was "a mistake for the country, it's a mistake for the Republican Party and, especially as we have the senate hanging in the balance in two runoff elections in Georgia, doing anything to tarnish the brand and ... cost us votes is a pretty, pretty significant thing."

Worth noting: Neither Baker nor Hogan voted for Trump in the presidential election, with the Maryland governor saying he would cast a write-in vote for the late President Reagan.

Go deeper

Paul Ryan calls on Trump to concede race and end lawsuits

Paul Ryan and Joe Biden after the vice presidential debate in 2012. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R) on Tuesday called on President Trump to concede the election to President-elect Biden and "embrace the transfer of power," in an address at a financial conference first reported by Politico.

Why it matters: Trump has continued to deny that he lost the election, despite his administration granting so-called "ascertainment" on Monday, allowing the transition to formally begin.

Updated Nov 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.

Pennsylvania certifies Biden's victory

Photo: Aimee Dilger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pennsylvania officials on Tuesday certified the state's presidential election results, making President-elect Joe Biden's win in the key battleground official.

Why it matters: The move deals another blow to President Trump's failed efforts to block certification in key swing states that he lost to Biden. It also comes one day after officials voted to certify Biden's victory in Michigan.